“Mobile communication has arguably had a bigger impact on humankind in a shorter period of time than any other invention in human history,”says the ‘Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile’ report released by the World Bank.
The number of mobile phones in use has skyrocketed from less then one billion in 2000 to six billion in 2012. With the ownership of multiple subscriptions is now common, mobile usage may outnumber the world’s population in future, the report suggests.
India has 70 subscriptions per 100 people, of which 96% are prepaid, while 53% of households own a mobile phone. Cellphone networks currently cover 83% of Indians, a number that is far less than in other countries. Indian mobile users speak for 330 minutes per month on average, or 11 minutes per day, down from 425 minutes per user per month. India’s price per minute use is the lowest possible at $0.01. Just under half of Indians use text messages on a regular basis.
India, however, lags far behind in mobile internet access: just 3.3% use mobile internet. Smartphone penetration is the lowest among middle-income and developed countries. This, despite the fact that the average mobile data speed in India is among the highest of developing countries, and higher than China or the US.